Why your petrol pump costs you so much money (and what you can do about it)

Anyone who owns a petrol pump will know only too well how much fuel can cost! But it’s only when you add it up and compare the cost with your other options that you really start to appreciate how expensive they are.

So how much is your petrol pump costing you?

If we think directly about the cost of fuel the maths can be simple, and the cost does add up. Often in rural locations, fuel can be a substantial cost, coming in at over $1 a litre (dependent on country/location). But this isn’t the only cost involved.

The true cost of a petrol pump can be much greater when you consider:

  • Transport costs of travelling to collect fuel
  • Servicing and maintenance
  • How often your pump needs replacing

As with every regular expenditure, it’s worthwhile taking the time to add up these costs so you can make an informed decision going forward.

Here’s our step-by-step guide to working out how much your petrol pump is costing you each year:

Add up your fuel spend – fuel spend for irrigation will vary over dry and rainy seasons, it’s a good idea to work out an average spend per month.

Fuel cost = average fuel per month x 12

Add up any transport costs – do you have to travel to get fuel? How much does that cost each time, and how often do you go?

Transport cost = fuel cost per trip x number of trips per year

Add up the cost of any maintenance on the pump – how often does is need servicing or fixing, or spare parts? How much have these cost in the last year?

Maintenance cost = average cost to fix x number of fixes per year

Think about the cost of buying the pump:

Are you on a monthly payment plan or paying back a loan?

Cost of pump per year = monthly charge x 12

If you bought it outright, how long do you think the pump will last?

Cost of pump per year = total pump cost / number of years the pump is expected to last for

Add all these up to get the yearly cost of the pump

Total yearly cost = fuel cost + transport cost + maintenance cost + cost of pump per year


It can be surprising how much your petrol pump is costing you, once you add everything up.

For John, the cost of fuel was getting to be so expensive that he was about to remove half an acre of his farm that he could no longer irrigate: “With the petrol pump I couldn’t afford to irrigate my whole farm, I was going to have to remove the bananas. Now, with the solar, I have actually expanded my farm”.

You’ve worked out the cost, now what can you do about it?

Once you know how much your petrol pump is costing you per year, it makes it much easier to compare the prices of other pumps on the market. This is an important thing to do to make sure that you are always irrigating in the most efficient way for you.

Is there anything cheaper?

The good news is that there are lots of options on the market for more efficient and cost effective irrigation for your farm. There are also many new technologies becoming available which could be the right solution for you.

At Futurepump, we manufacture solar powered water pumps designed to cut the costs of irrigating your farm. Our pumps are designed to be a sustainable, reliable and affordable option for small-scale farming.

If we take a look at the same calculation for a solar powered pump, you will be able to see how it compares to the petrol one above.

  1. Fuel spend – solar energy is free
  2. Transport costs – a solar pump works by placing the solar panel in the sun – there is no need to travel to collect fuel which will save you both time and money
  3. Maintenance costs – take a look at the warranty offered with your pump. A Futurepump solar pump comes with 5 years warranty which means that spare parts and servicing will be free for 5 years.
  4. Cost of buying the pump – consider the costs of buying on finance or outright
Josephine setting up her Futurepump SF2

It is important to consider the full cost of any technology you introduce on your farm. Alongside crop record keeping keeping an eye on your outgoings on irrigation is essential to maximising your farm profits.

Don’t just take our word for it, many Futurepump customers are reporting savings of $100 – $200 USD a year, from reduced fuel, transport and maintenance costs. And we’d love to hear how you get on with this calculation, let us know via Facebook, Twitter or Instagram!


Interested in finding out more about solar irrigation and how it could help you save money on your farm? Contact your local distributor to find out more or buy a pump online!